FAIR GO: 3 Style fashion retail owner Audra Cunningham (right) and casual employee Darcie Holgate-English, 16.
FAIR GO: 3 Style fashion retail owner Audra Cunningham (right) and casual employee Darcie Holgate-English, 16. Ross Irby

Sunday staff should be compensated: Gladstone business

IT CAN be the difference between struggle street, student survival and business profitability but for one Gladstone business woman Sunday staff should be paid the extra.

Audra Cunningham runs 3 Style, a ladies fashion store that is open six days and employs three casuals.

She is considering opening on Sundays and believes staff must be compensated for the time they are giving up.

"It's got to be fair," Ms Cunningham said. "It is an incentive to work when rates are high; it makes it all worthwhile."

The mother-of-two said she had casuals so she did not have to come in each day and, although paying the higher weekend rates for staff would make a difference for some business owners, she was not disagreeing with paying the Sunday penalty rate.

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"It is what it is. I think it's fair," Ms Cunningham said.

"If that is what you have to pay your staff that is fine with me.

"You need good staff, especially me, when I'm a working mum. And you want to look after them, pay them right."

Do we need Sunday penalty rates?

This poll ended on 30 December 2015.

Current Results

Yes, they make the difference for struggling families.


No, it's a burden on business.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

High school student and casual worker at her store, Darcie Holgate-English, 16, said weekend penalty rates were very important so she could earn and save money to attend university.

"Young people are used to shops being open Sundays so it does not bother us to work," she said.

"I just expect to be paid what everyone else is paid.

"Of course if it's higher it's better."

The report

THE elephant in the room has been smoking away all year and this week it fired.

The Productivity Commission's report on our workplace relations system recommends Sunday the penalty rate should be lowered.

It proposes that the Sunday rate aligns with Saturday's time-and-a-half payment but penalty rates for public holidays, shift work and overtime should remain.

The Federal Government will now examine the report which makes 70 key recommendations as part of its review into productivity and competitiveness.

The report found the Sunday penalty rate in the hospitality, retail, restaurant/cafes and entertainment sectors was inconsistent and anachronistic with regard to changing consumer preferences.

It also recommends that penalty rates continue to be set by independent Fair Work Commission.